Saturday 26 May 2012

G-8 Action on Food Security and Nutrition

Fact Sheet: G-8 Action on Food Security and Nutrition
At the Camp David Summit, G-8 and African leaders will commit to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, the next phase of our shared commitment to achieving global food security. In partnership with Africa’s people and leaders, our goals are to increase responsible domestic and foreign private investments in African agriculture, take innovations that can enhance agricultural productivity to scale, and reduce the risk borne by vulnerable economies and communities. We recognize and will act upon the critical role played by smallholder farmers, especially women, in transforming agriculture and building thriving economies.

The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a shared commitment to achieve sustained and inclusive agricultural growth and raise 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years by aligning the commitments of Africa’s leadership to drive effective country plans and policies for food security; the commitments of private sector partners to increase investments where the conditions are right; and the commitments of the G-8 to expand Africa’s potential for rapid and sustainable agricultural growth.

We welcome the support of the World Bank and African Development Bank, and of the United Nations’ World Food Program, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and Food and Agriculture Organization for the New Alliance. We also welcome the successful conclusion of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security and support the broad-based consultation process and pilot use of the Principles of Responsible Agricultural Investment.

The New Alliance Will Build on and Help Realize the Promise of L’Aquila

Since the L’Aquila Summit, where we committed to “act with the scale and urgency needed to achieve sustainable global food security,” we have increased our bilateral and multilateral investments in food security and changed the way we do business, consistent with core principles of aid effectiveness. Based on the findings of the 2012 G-8 Accountability Report and consistent with the Rome Principles on Sustainable Global Food Security, the G-8 will agree to:

  • Promptly fulfill outstanding L’Aquila financial pledges and seek to maintain strong support to address current and future global food security challenges, including through bilateral and multilateral assistance;
  • Ensure that our assistance is directly aligned behind country plans;
  • Strengthen the coordination of G-8 strategies, assistance and programs in-country and with partner countries to increase efficiencies, reduce transaction burdens, and eliminate redundancies and gaps.
The New Alliance will be rooted in partnership

To accelerate national progress in African partner countries, the G-8 will launch New Alliance Cooperation Frameworks that align with priority activities within each partner’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) national investment plan and include predictable funding commitments, specific policy actions, and statements of intent from the private sector.

The G-8 will partner with the African Union, New Partnership for Africa's Development and CAADP to implement the New Alliance, and leverage in particular the Grow Africa Partnership, in order to ensure our efforts build on African ownership, yield significant outcomes, and can be replicated across Africa. The G-8 will work together to advance the objectives of the New Alliance and G-8 members will support its individual elements on a complementary basis.

To mobilize private capital for food security, the New Alliance will:

  • Support the preparation and financing of bankable agricultural infrastructure projects, through multilateral initiatives including the development of a new Fast Track Facility for Agriculture Infrastructure.
  • Support the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), with the goal of securing commitments of $1.2 billion over three years from existing and new donors, scaling up and strengthening the operations of its public and private sector windows and support other mechanisms that improve country ownership and align behind CAADP national investment plans.
  • Report on the progress of G-8 development finance institutions in catalyzing additional private investment in African agriculture and increasing the range of financing options and innovative risk mitigation tools available to smallholder farmers and medium-sized agribusinesses.
  • Call on the World Bank, in collaboration with other relevant partners, to develop options for generating a Doing Business in Agriculture Index.
  • Announce the signing of Letters of Intent from over 45 local and multinational companies to invest over $3 billion across the agricultural value chain in Grow Africa countries, and the signing by over 60 companies of the Private Sector Declaration of Support for African Agricultural Development outlining their commitment to support African agriculture and public-private partnerships in a responsible manner.
To take innovation to scale, the New Alliance will:

  • Determine 10-year targets in partner countries for sustainable agricultural yield improvements, adoption of improved production technologies, including improved seed varieties, as well as post-harvest management practices as part of a value-chain approach, and measures to ensure ecological sustainability and safeguard agro-biodiversity.
  • Launch a Technology Platform with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa and other partners in consultation with the Tropical Agriculture Platform and the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) initiative that will assess the availability of improved technologies for food commodities critical to achieve sustainable yield, resilience, and nutrition impacts, identify current constraints to adoption, and create a roadmap to accelerate adoption of technologies.
  • Launch the Scaling Seeds and Other Technologies Partnership, housed at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa to strengthen the seed sector and promote the commercialization, distribution and adoption of key technologies improved seed varieties, and other technologies prioritized by the Technology Platform to meet established goals in partner countries.
  • Share relevant agricultural data available from G-8 countries with African partners and convene an international conference on Open Data for Agriculture, to develop options for the establishment of a global platform to make reliable agricultural and related information available to African farmers, researchers and policymakers, taking into account existing agricultural data systems.
  • Launch an information and communications technology innovation challenge on extension services at the African Union Summit in July 2012.
  • Explore opportunities for applying the non-profit model licensing approach that could expand African access to food and nutritional technologies developed by national research institutions.
To reduce and manage risk, the New Alliance will:

  • Support the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM) to complete national agricultural risk assessment strategies, to be conducted by the World Bank and other international institutions in close partnership with New Alliance countries, with the mandate of identifying key risks to food and nutrition security and agricultural development and recommending options for managing these risks.
  • Create a global action network to accelerate the availability and adoption of agricultural index insurance, in order to mitigate risks to farmers, especially smallholder and women farmers, and increase income and nutritional security. This network will pool data and findings; identify constraints; support regional training and capacity-building; and accelerate the development of instruments appropriate for smallholders and pastoralists.
  • Recognize the need for Africa-based sovereign risk management instruments, recognizing the progress by the African Union and its member governments toward creating the African Risk Capacity, a regional risk-pooling facility for drought management.
To improve nutritional outcomes and reduce child stunting, the G-8 will:

  • Actively support the Scaling Up Nutrition movement and welcome the commitment of African partners to improve the nutritional well-being of their populations, especially during the critical 1,000 days window from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday. We pledge that the G-8 members will maintain robust programs to further reduce child stunting.
  • Commit to improve tracking and disbursements for nutrition across sectors and ensure coordination of nutrition activities across sectors.
  • Support the accelerated release, adoption and consumption of bio-fortified crop varieties, crop diversification, and related technologies to improve the nutritional quality of food in Africa.
  • Develop a nutrition policy research agenda and support the efforts of African institutions, civil society and private sector partners to establish regional nutritional learning centers.
To ensure accountability for results, the New Alliance will:

  • Convene a Leadership Council to drive and track implementation, which will report to the G-8 and African Union on progress towards achieving the commitments under the New Alliance, including commitments made by the private sector.
  • Report to the 2013 G-8 Summit on the implementation of the New Alliance, including the actions of the private sector, in collaboration with the African Union.

Friday 25 May 2012

دهوك-كوردستان : تأثر محصولي الحنطة والشعير بسبب الجفاف واسعار الحنطه عالميا

الخط العمودي هو سعر طن الحنطه  بالدولار الامريكي واصل الميناء(هذا الاسبوع) والخط الافقي تبين السنوات. لاحظوا الفرق الشاسع بين الاسعار العالميه وما تدفعه الحكومه (Grain.Com) 

 توقعت المديرية العامة للزارعة في محافظة دهوك ان لا يتم حصاد اكثر من 25%من المساحات المزروعة
بالحنطة والشعير في دهوك نظرا لقلة الأمطار خلال  شهر نيسان

واوضح المهندس الزراعي مسعود مصطفى مدير التخطيط والمتابعة في المديرية العامة للزراعة في دهوك في حديثه لإذاعة العراق الحر ان الحنطة والشعير يعدان من المحاصيل ألإستراتيجية التي تعتمد عليها المحافظة سنويا، لكنهما تأثرا بحالة الجفاف وعدم انتظام سقوط الأمطار، التي أدت الى انخفاض غلة الدونم الواحد الى
(200) كيلو غرام كما ان منطقة شيخان اكثر المناطق تضررا بسبب الجفاف

واضاف مدير التخطيط ان عموم اقليم كردستان قد تأثر بقلة هطول الأمطار وان غلة الدونم الواحد كانت تصل الى( 400) كيلو غرام في الأعوام الماضية، لكن التوقعات تشير الى ان غلة الدونم هذا العام قد تصل الى (200) كيلوغرام للدونم الواحد، أما مجمل الإنتاج المتوقع هذا العام قد يصل الى (172) الف طن من الحنطة، موضحا ان الفلاحين قد تحاشوا زراعة الشعير هذا العام مخافة عدم تسويقه، وبلغت المساحات المزروعة بالشعير (33) ألف دونم ومن المتوقع ان يبلغ إنتاج الشعير في دهوك (23) ألف طن

وبخصوص مشكلة خزن الحنطة والشعير التي تعد من مشكلة دائمة قال المهندس الزراعي مسعود مصطفى "لتفادي المشكلة تم وضع حجر الأساس لأنشاء مركز للتسويق في منطقة روفيا القريبة من بردرش لحل هذه المشكلة هذه

من جهة اخرى اوضح محمد ابراهيم مدير اعلام زراعة دهوك ان اجتماعا خاصا للجنة العليا للزراعة برئاسة نائب محافظة دهوك  قد تم عقده لبحث آلية حصاد وخزن وتسويق محصولي الحنطة والشعير لهذا العام، مشيرا الى انه تم خلال الاجتماع إقرار تشكيل(11) فرقة من قوة الدفاع المدني تتوزع على إرجاء المناطق المزروعة بالحنطة وتم الإيعاز لمخازن الحبوب في الشيخان وفايدة وزاخو لاستلام المحصول من الفلاحين

وقال محمد ابراهيم ان اللجنة العليا للزراعة في دهوك اقرت شراء محصول الحنطة (درجة اولى )بقيمة 720 الف دينار للطن الوحد اما الدرجة الثانية فسيكون بمبلغ (620) الف دينار والدرجة الثالثة ( 520 ) الف دينار للطن الواحد كما تم تحديد سعر الشعير بـ(520) الف دينار للطن الو
الفلاحون من جهتهم طالبوا الحكومة والجهات المعنية بضرورة رفع أسعار الشراء فالحاج عبدالكريم الذي زرع أكثر من ألف دونم في سهل سميل قال "لقد أثرت علينا الأمطار كثيرا خلال هذا العام لأن هطولها كان قليلا خلال نيسان ما أدى الى جفاف الكثير من محصولنا لذا ندعو الحكومة ان تساعدنا برفع أسعار الشراء لكي نعوض الخسارة التي تعرضنا إليها
اذاعة العراق الحر 20.5.2012 

Wednesday 23 May 2012

KNOW THE FRESH FISHتعرف على الاسماك الطازجه

Kurdistan Government’s Budget and the Agriculture Sector

I have just looked at the Kurdistan Government’s budget for 2012-2013 and saw that parliament has allocated 2.58% of the budget for agriculture. In 2010 at the F.A.O.-U.N.’s General Ministerial Meeting the recommendation was made that the percentage of the budget given to agriculture in developing countries should be raised from the 5% recommended in previous years to 10% now, two years later, the Ministries of Agriculture in both Kurdistan and Iraq no not receive 3%.

At today’s G8 meeting in Camp David, U.S.A. a great deal of time was given to the discussion of food security. All the G8 countries are not only rich but have a good agricultural sector and are concerned as to their food security. The EU’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) represents 40% of the total EU budget. It leaves me to wonder why so many Third World countries, including ours, are not interested in their nation’s food security. It is time that we paid more attention to this issue and follow the U.N.’s advice and direct more funding to the country’s agriculture and at least maintain the agricultural budget at 5%.

In addition we need to plan ahead more effectively when it comes to obtaining veterinary medicines, vaccines, fertilisers and pesticides etc for the new season. All too often the orders for these essential supplies are placed when the budget has been allocated and the season is well underway. The result is that the newly purchased supplies arrive too late to be used in the current season and, when it comes to drugs and vaccines that have a limited shelf life, there is unnecessary wastage.

Saturday 19 May 2012



 ProMED-mail postDate: Wed 16 May 2012
Source: World News [edited]

5 people have died in the Black Sea region of Turkey of a disease that can be transmitted by tick bites, officials said; 3 residents of Kastamonu province in northern Turkey were taken to the Ankara Numune Hospital on Tuesday 15 May 2012 and died that day from Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, today's [16 May 2012] Zaman [newspaper] reported. A shepherd from Tokat district in Tokat province and a farmer from Corum province also died of the disease Tuesday.

The disease, which affects mainly farm and slaughterhouse workers in the countryside and in the central Anatolia and Black Sea regions, is normally transmitted by bites from infected ticks or through direct contact with infected blood tissue in livestock. Transmission between humans through exposure to contaminated blood is rare.

As a result of global warming, ticks carrying the virus are multiplying faster, scientists said. The disease, for which there is no vaccine, causes hemorrhage, high fever, muscle pain, and vomiting. In severe cases, the disease can cause a body rash, bleeding from the bowels and gums and renal failure.

The disease, which has a mortality rate of about 30 percent, was 1st identified in the Crimea in 1944
and later appeared in the Congo.

حمى القرم – الكونغو النزفية يمكن اعتبار الحيوانات ألأليفه كالماشية والأغنام والماعز عوامل مقوية للفيروس وتعطيه مزيدا من الضراوة أثناء الأوبئة ومواسمها وغالبا تكون الأعراض غير واضحة وربما ظهرت خفيفة على العجول وعلى الحملان ولكن قد تحدث حالات إجهاض بين الحيوانات الحوامل وتتلخص الأعراض في فقد الشهية وعدم الحركة والكسل وقد يحدث إجهاض وقد سجلت معايير عالية في العجول والماشية في مناطق الإصابات الآدمية وعند ذبح الحيوان المصاب حتى وان لم تكن عليه أعراض واضحة فقد تنتقل العدوى للجزارين والبيطريين نتيجة ملامسة الدم الموبوء ودخول الفيروس عبر الأغشية المخاطية أو عبر الجلد المصاب بجروح . 
وقد سجلت إصابة أدمية عديدة انتهت بالموت بين أشخاص لامسوا دم حيوانات مصابة بالفيروس وأصيبوا بالعدوى من خلال جروح في اليد

Tuesday 15 May 2012



KURDISTAN;Benefits of Soyabean-English

KURDISTAN: Benefit of soybean production and Processing

In all the years that I worked with FAO I was used to seeing soybeans as a viable crop in every country that I visited, therefore I was surprised to find that it was not cultivated here. This company, Agrisoya, is enthusiastic about introducing soya cultivation here and the company has an excellent track record in many countries in south east Asia.

Initially there was a somewhat negative attitude towards them from those who had litlle conception of the usefulness of soybeans and I must salute their persistence in working towards their goal of seeing soya cultivation here. I met them through Dr Salah Baker and they visited the Prime Minister Office  and I am sure that they will assist us in improving the food security not only in Kurdistan but in Iraq.

Talib Murad Ali Elam,Ph.D,(Liverpool 1974)

Monday 7 May 2012

KURDISTAN RAIN UPDATE UP TO 5.5.2012امطار كوردستان لغاية

الخدمات البيطرية: تجرى التحصين فى 14 محافظة :المصري اليوم6.5.2012

كشف تقرير المتابعة الأسبوعية لوزارة الزراعة المتمثلة فى هيئة العامة للخدمات البيطرية، انحصار حالات الاشتباه والنفوق بمرض العترة الجديدة من الحمى القلاعية "سات2"، حيث بلغت الحالات المصابة منذ ظهور المرض فى 26 فبراير حتى 2 مايو الجارى، إلى 83 ألفا و788 حالة مصابة تعافى منها 80 ألفا و314 حالة، بينما بلغت نسبة الحالات النافقة 20 ألفا 303 حالات معظمها من العجول الرضيعة التى لا تتجاوز الشهرين، تم رصدها عن طريق مديريات الطب البيطرى بمحافظات الجمهورية.
كما رصد تقرير الخدمات البيطرية الذى تلقاه المهندس محمد رضا إسماعيل، وزير الزراعة، أن نسبة حالات الاشتباه والنفوق تركزت فى ثلاث محافظات على رأسها محافظة الغربية منذ ظهور العترة الجديدة "سات 2" مؤخراً فى البلاد، حيث بلغت حالات الاشتباه 27 ألف و657 حالة، بينما بلغت حالات النفوق 4 آلاف و662 حالة تم رصدها عن طريق مديريات الطب البيطرى.
بينما بلغت حالات الاشتباه محافظة الدقهلية 13 ألفا و45 حالة تعافى منها 12 ألفا و114 حالة، بينما بلغت حالات النفوق ألفين و731 حالة تليها محافظة السويس التى سجلت 382 حالة نافقة، بينما محافظة البحر الأحمر بلغت 231 حالة مصابة بسبب الحمى القلاعية سات 2 ولم تسجل أى حالات نفوق حتى الآن تليها شمال سينا التى سجلت حالة واحدة منذ ظهور المرض.
من جانبه قال الدكتور عصام عبد الشكور، رئيس الإدارة المركزية للإرشاد بالخدمات البيطرية بوزارة الزراعة، استمرار تلقيح الحيوانات بمصل "العترة" الجديدة من الحمى القلاعية "سات2" المصنع محليا، وتكثيف الحملات والقوافل الطبية فى القرى والنجوع وإعطاء إرشادات لصغار المربيين فى عملية إجراء التحصين، بالإضافة إلى توعية صغار المربين بتطبيق أمان الحجر البيطرى وأولها عدم تجمعات الماشية.
وأشار عبد الشكور فى تصريحات لـــ"اليوم السابع " أنه جارى تحصين الماشية ضد الحمى القلاعية باللقاح الجديد فى 14 محافظة باللقاح الذى تم إنتاجه محليا فى معمل المصل واللقاح بالعباسية بالتعاون مع شركة "فاكسيرا" القابضة التابعة لوزارة الصحة، والذى ثبت فاعليته بشكل أكبر من اللقاح المستورد، لافتا إلى أنه يتم التحصين أيضا ضد العترة سات2 والعترتين المتوطنتين بمصر وهما A وO، كما سيتم التحصين ضد حمى الوادى المتصدع بالنسبة لكافة المواشى، وهى من ضمن الأمراض المتوطنة بمصر.
 وأضاف رئيس الإدارة المركزية للإرشاد بالخدمات البيطرية، أن مديريات الطب البيطرى بمحافظات الجمهورية بالتعاون مع الأجهزة المعنية تتابع حركة الحيوانات بين المحافظات للتأكد من تطبيق قرار حظر نقلها، وتطبيق أمان الحجر البيطرى للسيطرة على مرض الحمى القلاعية سات2، بالإضافة إلى قيام الأجهزة البيطرية بتشكيل لجان فنية لمتابعة الموقف الوبائى بالمحافظات، للتأكد من انحسار المرض، وقوافل طبية تجوب القرى والنجوع لإعطاء إرشادات اللقاح الجديد وطريقة التحصين لافتا إلى أن ارتفاع درجات الحرارة خلال الأيام الماضية سيزيد من انخفاض أعداد حالات الاشتباه والنفوق.

Sunday 6 May 2012

The Potentials of Adapting Crop Production to Climate Change

By Dr. Mohammed Sa’id Berigari, Senior Soil and Environmental Scientist, USA, 05/05/2012

Farmers everywhere throughout history have adopted new crop varieties and adjusted agricultural management practices to cope with the problem of changes in the environment.  However, as global temperatures keep rising, the pace of environmental change will likely be astonishing.  More intense and frequent precipitation, drought, higher temperatures, and other damaging parameters of weather are all expected to reduce crop yield and quality making the task of feeding 9 billion world population by 2050 extremely difficult.
Already extreme weather conditions are affecting agricultural sectors all over the world.  For instance, after a ten year drought in Australia, it experienced catastrophic floods during fall 2010 and winter 2011 causing an estimated loss of $ 6 billion in grain harvest.   Harsh and unpredictable weather patterns also, can affect the most volatile regions of the world and leave them more vulnerable to instability due to greater hunger and poverty.   Therefore, knowing how to adapt food production systems to a rapidly changing climate is crucial for ensuring world food security and political stability.
The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) issued a position statement on” Crop Adaptation to Climate Change.” The statement reviews the impacts of variable weather conditions resulting from climate change on cropping systems, reports the progress to date in adapting crops management practices to new conditions, and offers focus areas for increasing the speed at which global agricultural systems can adapt to climate change.
How Will Climate Change Alter Crop Production?
Climate change beside its direct effects on weather will increase both abiotic stresses such as drought, heat, and water-logging; and biotic stresses such as pest,and pathogens that affect agricultural systems.  The biggest concern, however, and largely unknown are the effects that interactions among various stresses will have on crops and cropping systems.
Drought: Is anticipated to limit the productivity of more than 50% of the arable land on this planet in the next 50 years, and competition between urban and agriculture for water will make the problem worse.  The use of saline and brackish water could help alleviate world’s water scarcity.  However, this option is only feasible with the development of salt-tolerant crops or   management practices that relief salt stress.  Consequently to limit the impact of drought, there is an urgent need for crop varieties and cropping systems that conserve water consumption and sustain yields during periods of water shortage. However, developing these varieties of crops is difficult due to the interplay of crop responses to drought at the genomic, biochemical, and physiological levels.  To develop drought- tolerant varieties and make them available to farmers, teams of scientists with different disciplines are needed at the cellular, plant, and field scales to work together to find ways to manipulate these complex, multi-level processes and improve crop response.
Temperature:  Is a major factor influencing the growth and development of all types of crops and reflects potential yield during the entire growing season. Temperatures above the normal are expected to reduce yields of cereals and legume crops.  Elevated temperatures are well- known to shorten the stage of grain-filling period.  Furthermore, elevated temperature changes can lead to warmer, less severe winters, which sometimes allow pests and pathogens to survive winters, and increasing the probability of reduced yield the next cropping season.  For all these reasons adopting crop systems to new seasonal variations and temperatures will require adopting strategies specific for each geographic region of any country.
Carbon dioxide:  CO2 is essential for crop carbohydrate production that includes crop productivity, yield, and overall plant metabolism.  It also plays a major role in climate change.  According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the CO2 concentrations of the atmosphere have increased significantly over the past two centuries and may reach 450- 1000 µmol/L of air by the end of this century.  Elevating CO2 levels of the atmosphere will likely enhance photosynthesis and boost the overall productivity of many crops, although important tropical grasses like maize, sugarcane, sorghum, and some cellulosic biofuel crops do not respond as well to increased levels of CO2.  Moreover, enhanced productivity may be offset by pressure from insects and fungal infections, ozone, and variable precipitation, even though the extent to which this occurs will depend on the physiology and biochemistry of each crop.
Ozone:  Is an important greenhouse gas and plant pollutant that steadily increases due to fossil fuel combustion.  Crop leaves absorb O3 gas during photosynthesis and reduces photosynthetic rates resulting in accelerated leaf death thus affecting crop maturity and productivity.  Current global yield losses caused by ozone are estimated at 10% for wheat and soybean and 3-5% for rice and maize.
Biological stresses:  Caused by bacteria, weeds, insects, fungi, and viruses will affect cropping systems.  Temperature is ranked as the most important parameter in determining how insects affect crop yields, and some insect species such as flea beetles display signs of overwintering due to warmer winter temperatures. The pathogens bacteria, fungi, and viruses also respond quite well to temperature as well as to humidity and rainfall.  Therefore, as the growing season gets longer and winters more moderate due to climate change, pressures from weeds, microbial, and insect pests are expected to rise due to enhanced capacity for overwintering, greater mobility of organisms, and expanded adaptation zones.
The climate has always been in a state of flux, however, the current rate of change is much faster, and the extent of weather variation much broader than ever witnessed before modern agriculture.  Now two main approaches exist:  1) improving the existing crop cultivars and creating new ones and 2) developing new cropping systems and better methods for managing crops in the field.  These approaches for specific strategies are discussed below.
Strategies for Creating New Crops and Improving the Existing Varieties    
Integrate desirable traits into the existing crops by means of germplasm collections, related datasets, and breeding research.  Crop scientists in the past have identified and selectively adapted crops with desirable traits that can achieve optimum yields while resisting stresses, such as drought, heat, and water-logging. However, the success and speed of breeding work depend on the ability of plant breeders to access optimal germplasm and quality information about germplasm samples.
Nowadays breeders depend on genetic and environmental information in both public and private germplasm collections, such as the USDA’s public National Plant Germplasm System. For continuous improvement of germplasm that can be used to develop new cultivars well suited to climate change, there is a need to obtain, preserve, evaluate, document, and distribute plant genetic resources for a wide range of crops and their wild relatives.  However, biotechnology methods that help scientists to screen crop traits are already changing how germplasm banks are used.  Extensive use of these resources and methods will help researchers to more rapidly identify adaptive traits, represented by genes or groups of genes that display stress tolerance.
Identify crop germplasm that resists stresses relative to climate change.   Crop yield drops due to drought, excessive heat, or excess water deviating from the optimum for growth during critical stages, including pollination, flowering, and filling periods, when carbohydrates and nutrients assimilate inside grain, tubers, or fruit.  Cultivars are being developed for cowpea and corn that resist excessive heat during pollination periods and for soybeans and rice to flooding early in the growing season. Maize hybrids also are being developed that display improved synchronization of flowering and pollination under heat and water stress.
Despite this progress, we have only accessed a fraction of the vast information available on abiotic stress resistance because information and research is often limited to the most important crops; therefore, broader investigation and datasets are needed to cover wider range of crops.   And concerted efforts are needed for the screening of crop germplasm to susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stresses.  Many countries, including USA, experience significant yield losses from pests despite the use of improved crop cultivars and chemicals for pest and pathogen control.  As the climate changes and becomes more variable, the interactions among crops, pests, and pathogens are expected to become even more complex and need refocused research.  Continued efforts in these areas will supply germplasm for plant breeders to incorporate into adapted cultivars that are productive.
Implement new mapping and cataloging methods.  Fast high-output screening of crop genetic material and other novel methods are now possible because of computer imaging, robotics, and supercomputers.  These techniques will help investigators to identify adaptive traits expressed in different environments more rapidly and increase the probability of finding key clusters or groups of genes that control traits for resistance to drought and other abiotic stresses.
 As the cost drops for genome sequencing, investigators will be able to sequence more than one cultivar per crop. This will allow researchers to uncover the genomic basis of water, resource, and nutrient-use efficiencies and identify locations on the genome where breeders have best selected and bred for adaptive traits in the past.  Moreover, genome-wide prediction and breeding simulations are helping plant breeders make better selections in their search programs because they can better predict the outcome of breeding decisions.  Overall, high-through-put screening combined with advanced genomics and prediction methods will allow scientists to develop cultivars adapted to new environment at faster speed and widen the options for farmers.
Create New Crops.   New crops are likely to play key roles in retaining and increasing agriculture production. Domestication of crops began only 50-120 centuries ago for the oldest crops such as maize, wheat, potatoes, and sorghum whereas blueberries and wild rice were domesticated more recently.  Domestication and development of crops have enabled humans to modify them for optimum yield and nutritional qualities.
These days, some scientists are crossing perennial relatives of certain crops such as maize, millet, rice, sorghum, sunflower, and wheat with their annual, domesticated counterparts for use in developing perennial grain crops.  Moreover, a real interest in bioenegy has also encouraged the domestication and breeding of C4 grasses, including switch- grass, and miscanthus.  Domestication and breeding of new crops is a long-time solution that requires many years of hard work before formal testing can be performed.
Extend Field-level evaluations of crop germplasm.  The plant breeder’s current toolkit which provides access to global genetic resources and technology, combined with large-scale field-level research, will help discover previously unknown genetic sources and locations on DNA associated with abiotic stress resistance.  Unraveling the knowledge gap relative to abiotic stress tolerance will enable applied and basic researchers to develop long-term strategies that will maximize delivery of new and improved cultivars.  Thus, field-based research and related breeding efforts must be intensified, integrated, and expanded to engage a full spectrum of crop development scientists, including plant breeders, physiologist, and geneticist.
Strategies for Developing New Crop Systems and Practices for Their Management.
New management systems are being developed to enhance crop resilience toward climatic changes and to maintain productivity and yield.  Because agriculture will not experience the same vulnerability to climate change in various regions, site specific systems of cropping and management practices are needed that could match yield potentials with inputs, soil fertility, and the range of climate variations in each area
Farmers in the past needed to modify cropping systems, either in response to gradual climate change or as crops were moved into new geographical regions.  This process of adaptation required intensive work of trial and error, disrupting farm economies and sometimes food supplies.  However, research and development in the private and public sectors can provide information to producers to adapt greater fluidity. Research technology and management tools that can speed up the adaptation of crops include simulation modeling and remote sensing.  These technologies when combined with faster and better communication of location-specific recommendations will more likely help minimize the negative economic impacts that otherwise accompany ad hoc, untested changes in cropping systems.
Decision-making based on crop models.  Crop models are useful in integrating important information about processes and help scientists to assess the impact of changes in crop genetics, and crop and soil management practices. Those models can also be used to compare different crop- management strategies and in helping producers to weigh both economic and environmental considerations as they make decisions about crop varieties, crop dates, and management methods.
Monitor Crop Condition and production.  Long- and short-term monitoring of various factors such as pests, pathogens, changes in field conditions, crop productivity, and weather patterns is essential for providing an information base on which future decisions and innovations can be made. For example, remote sensing of crops, weather, and pest conditions can be used by producers for adaptive practices or by government as an early warning signal for climate-based food securities.  Databases also help modeling of both biotic and abiotic climate change impacts on crops in specific regions or areas.  Briefly stating, long-term monitoring is needed to develop strategies for crop cultivar deployment and management practices that provide farmers the best options for productive harvest.
Optimize efficiency of water-use.  As climate changes water supplies are expected to become limited in certain regions of the globe, but better water management strategies, such as drip irrigation, can conserve water and protect vulnerable crops from water shortage.  To assess the effectiveness of these measures, agronomists often calculate the amount of crop yield per unit of water or water productivity also known as “more crop per drop”. Water productivity can be elevated through advances in cultivar, plant nutrition, and irrigation methods based on real-time crop need, and better drought and heat resistant crops grown in rain-fed systems or dry farming.
Optimize arable land use.  More efficient use of the existing arable land through sustainable yield intensification can prevent bringing new land into production.  Higher crop yields also have shown reductions in greenhouse emissions, thus minimizing contribution of agriculture to climate change.
Climate change has far- reaching impacts on food security, human and animal health, and their safety.  The climate change impacts are already becoming evident, and there is no sign that such trends will reverse in the foreseeable future.  Therefore, quick actions must be taken now to adapt crops and cropping systems in a timely manner and prevent unpredictable and undesirable results.  New crop cultivars, cropping systems, and agricultural strategies are needed to offer farmers good options to out- weigh climate change impacts.
Future Needs
Every country should engage its crop scientists, agronomists, plant breeders, and growers from both public and private sectors to focus on how to face the challenge of the climate change by adopting far-sighted strategies for adapting crops and cropping systems to the changing environment to sustain optimum yields. Moreover, at global level, the international institutes and organizations like Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Centre for Agriculture Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Rice Research Center (IRRC), and others need to participate in such strategies for effective and well planned responses to climate change.   Such organizations also must include sound provisions for adequate funding for crop science research to provide up-to-date state of knowledge and information on adapting cropping systems to the climate change.
The strategies should aim at 1) understanding the physiological, genetic, and molecular basis of adaptation to abiotic  stresses such as drought, heat, and flooding; and biotic stresses such as weeds, insects, and pathogens that are likely to result from climate change, 2) translate new information into new agricultural systems that integrate genetic and management practices i.e. both breeding and agronomy will play key roles in such adaptation, and 3) transfer knowledge effectively and allow technologies and innovations to be widely accessible to increase food production and security worldwide.
*The above article is adapted from that listed below and the official CSSA position statement” Crop Adaptation to Climate Change” which is available online at:
Bijl, C.G.; and M.Fisher. 2011.  Crop adaptation to climate change.  CSA (Crops, Soils, Agronomy) news of Crop Sci.Soc.Amer., Soil Sci.Soc.Amer., Amer.Soc.Agron.:  5-9.